by Executive Pastor Mark Waltz
I’ve been trying to find the rhythm that honors the way God wired me. I’m an introvert. But I like people. Love people. There’s nothing fake in the way I interact with people, particularly around our gatherings as a church.
But as an introvert, I need down time. Alone time. Time to be, to think, to create, to rest. (Of course we all need this time—it’s what Sabbath is about—even for extroverts.) I refuel by being away from people, especially lots of people. And it’s helpful to my spiritual maturity thermometer to see my inclination toward introversion as contemplative. It is what it is, I suppose.
In addition to the challenge of intentionally focusing our quiet on God, I’m realizing there are a couple other cautions for those of us who find meditation to be a comfortable and engaging connection with God.
First of all, we must be careful to not continually be seeking one more experience. One more time of feeling spiritual. One more time of feeling. We must remember that it is God we seek, not merely an emotional experience.
Secondly, we must not love the monastery so much—wherever that is for us—that we neglect experiencing relationships with those around us. God created us for each other. There is a sacred experience, a holy exchange between two or more Christ followers who lean into each other’s lives—calling out the image of God, the formation of Christ in our lifestyle.
Relationships are an encounter with God that must not be missed—even for the contemplative seeker.
I want to create space and time for God’s Spirit to work deeply and gently within me. How about you?